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March 13, 2012
GREENSBORO, N.C. (theACC.com) -- NC State, Virginia and Wake Forest have accepted at-large bids to the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and will take the ACC’s total of postseason participants to seven when they begin play in the 64-team event on Thursday. They will join fellow ACC members Duke, Maryland, Georgia Tech and Miami, all of which are NCAA Tournament invitees, in continuing strong seasons.
The Wolfpack will welcome High Point to Reynolds Coliseum, the Cavaliers will host Howard and the Demon Deacons will play at Charlotte in first-round competition announced by Triple Crown Sports, the Colorado-based firm that owns and operates the WNIT and approximately 300 other amateur sports competitions in the United States and Mexico.
All three games are scheduled to start at 7 p.m. The WNIT expected to announce the NC State-High Point tipoff time on Tuesday afternoon. All sites, dates and times of subsequent contests will be determined shortly after the previous round is completed.
NC State (18-15) played its way into the WNIT field with an impressive ACC Tournament. State became the first No. 8 seed to defeat the top seed in the championship’s 35-year history when it knocked off Duke 75-73 in the quarterfinals. Senior Bonae Holston, a second-team All-ACC performer, and junior Marissa Kastanek, the ACC Scholar-Athlete of the Year, have propelled the Pack to the 24th overall postseason appearance and its third trip to the WNIT. Harper has now directed NC State to postseason play in two of her first three seasons on the bench.
The Panthers (20-12) are members of the Big South Conference. The time of the first-round game is expected to be announced Tuesday. The winner of the High Point-NC State game will face the winner of Thursday’s Appalachian State-UNC Wilmington contest.
Under first-year coach Joanne Boyle, Virginia (22-10) was one of four candidates considered for the final at-large spot in the NCAA Tournament, the chair of that committee confirmed Monday. The Cavaliers, who finished 50th in the RPI, defeated No. 5 Tennessee and had two other Top-50 wins during the regular season, in which they won their last four games in all.
The Bison (24-8) won the MEAC’s regular-season title.
The Cavs will be making their fifth WNIT appearance and 30th overall trip to postseason competition. They are led by second-team All-ACC pick Ariana Moorer and will play for the right to face Miami of Ohio or Richmond in the second round. The Demon Deacons (19-13) have earned their fifth postseason invitation, four of which have been WNIT bids under coach Mike Petersen. Wake made its mark this season by winning multiple ACC Tournament games for the first time, following a first-round result over Virginia Tech with an upset of Miami, which was seeded second in the event and ranked seventh nationally at the time.
Forward Lakevia Boykin, who averaged 14.3 points per regular-season ACC game, delivered 22 and 16 points in Wake’s two conference tournament victories. The Deacs were unable to host the WNIT opener because their home arena, Joel Coliseum, had been booked for another event.
North Carolina (20-11) was the ACC's automatic qualifier to the WNIT but chose to decline the bid.
The selections give the ACC seven or more postseason competitors for the eighth consecutive year.